My friend Ashley I decided to do anime costumes for the 2008 Anime Detour. I usually make comic book or video game related costumes, so I was really excited to step out of my shell and try something different. FLCL was the first anime I ever watched, and Ashley really wanted to dress as Haruko so it seemed perfect for me to go as Mamimi.
The costume was supposed to be really easy, but as most of you probably know everything is always more of an endeavor than we first think it would be. I found a blue zip-up right away and modified it by cutting off the hood and adding a collar. Considering I had never sewn before in my life, it was much harder to figure out than I thought it would be. In the end it worked out well enough. The skirt was definitely the hardest part. I bought a pattern and went at it. Pleats are hard!!! The skirt turned out pretty well in the end. I ordered the wig from eBay and was really happy with it. I love the highlights in it and it is just the right length.
The socks were easy enough to find at a local retail store, where I got the shoes as well. I will be honest, the shoes are ugly as hell but they were the most comfortable things I have ever worn while cosplaying. I painted the red star on to the undershirt, and dyed a white bag blue for her backpack. It is not quite the right color blue, but it was as close as I could get! After sewing on the white stripe I was done with the costume!
We set up a shoot before Anime Detour so we could document our costumes. Steven Anthony was nice enough to take the photos in his studio. The studio had a ton of unique items in it, such as an old refrigerator and a boiler room. Ashley focused on embodying the crazy nature of Haruko by screaming and making noises. Her photos look like stills from the show at times. As for me, shooting an anime costume was very different than shooting a sexpot comic character. Mamimi always acts spacey and wears minimal makeup so I did the same. I hope her character came across in my photos!
If you want to know more about Ashley’s costume, you can read her little blurb below. Otherwise enjoy the photos!
About Ashley’s Costume – Haruhara Haruko: “The costume started with the vest, which I had specially made for me from an online store. I then bought the shinny, leather pants and pink wig from two separate stores on eBay. The next piece I needed was the under shirt which is a butter cream color, fortunately I already had a long sleeved shirt that matched perfect. The boots were hard to match perfectly, but I found a good pair of black, knee high platform shoes that I spray painted white. Haruko’s gloves are a yellow shade that I found at Herberger’s during the winter months. The final touch was the bass guitar. Now, in the series story she has a Rickenbacker bass, but those are thousands of dollars. So I opted for a blue/turquoise bass and added the white to keep it at close as possible.”
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